Foodways practices are crucial to Black life. These stories include recipe sharing, feeding of houseless neighbors, and more.
Eating disorders within Black communities have historically been exacerbated by systematic poverty and food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, and stigma from within and outside of the community. However, there has been an increased push to talk about eating disorders within Black communities, as well as the intersection between race and mental health, by black doctors, therapists, and others in the health community. Events such as Whitney Trotter and Alishia McCullough's “Ancestral Legacies & Eating Disorders in Black Communities” discussion engage the impact eating disorders have on Black people and discuss how to overcome ancestral trauma to embrace healing.
High on the Hog is a 2021 limited Netflix docuseries tracing the origins of African-American cuisine. It illuminates the resilience and ingenuity of Black cooks who have shaped American cuisine since the arrival of the first slave ships. The four-episode show is made by an intentionally Black creative team, which itself is a rarity in television.
Oldways, a food, and nutrition nonprofit created the African Heritage Diet Pyramid using knowledge of the cuisine, health, and history of the African diaspora. The pyramid highlights specific foods that form the basis of traditional African diets and is oriented towards a diasporic audience by celebrating the foods and healthy eating patterns of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas.
African women braided rice into their or their children’s hair before the Middle Passage or before the separation between plantations so that they had some food to carry with them. This tradition brought African rice varieties to the Americas to become a staple crop before Asian rice varieties became widely cultivated. It also allowed enslaved Africans to cultivate it as a food source for themselves, then eventually for the plantations they arrived at.
The Detroit Black Community Food Share Network is an organization founded in 2006 to combat food insecurity in the predominantly Black communities of Detroit. The DBCFSN hopes to encourage black people to take up more active leadership roles in the food security movement. They operate seven acres of a farm where a variety of produce is grown and maintained along with other resources such as beehives, a rainwater retention pond, and a solar energy station.
In “We Dance” filmmakers Ethan Payne and Brian Foster depict exploration of black art, poetry, and literature across the eastern United States. These media represent how human stories and memories are kept, in the form of physical objects, places, or food, and even how they are kept in the abstract through dreams.
Phildelphia COFO workers hosted a food and clothing driving, acquiring two and one-half tons of food and clothing sent from Cleveland, Ohio to distribute to local Black members in Neshoba County. The militancy of pro-segragation, racist white groups deterred a large crowd from gathering at the distrbution site, but Black community members were still able to receive the resources.
In the 1950s Georgia Gilmore organized The Club from Nowhere to fundraise for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She and other women sold baked goods in beauty salons and on street corners to buy gas and station wagons so people could get to and from work during the boycott. Gilmore’s food became a symbol of her activism during that time and now the legacy of her cooking is a way for the people of Montgomery, AL to connect to her memory.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) conducted sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Greensboro, North Carolina.